As adults, it’s easy to be single-minded when it comes to the hobbies your child pursues. Once they start a sport or activity, you feel like they have to stick with it long-term. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with teaching your child to fulfill their obligations, there’s also nothing wrong with giving them the opportunity to explore their options.
There are a wide variety of benefits, both mental and physical, to letting your child know that they have the freedom to choose what sports they play and what activities they participate in. Here are just a few of them;
By playing the same sport, year round, for years on end, your child is at a much higher risk of experiencing overuse injuries. Endlessly training the same muscles and movements without a break can really wear on your child’s body. By pursuing a variety of sports, your child will learn different movements and train different muscle groups in new ways, which can help them to avoid injury and burnout.
Develop New Interests
Rather than just assuming that your child wants to play football this fall because that’s what they’ve always done, ask them what they’re interested in. Maybe they’ve had their eye on soccer or want to spend more time growing their other interests. Unless your child is comfortable self-advocating or knows that you’ll respect their wishes, you may not know that they’re burnt out or looking for a new hobby. Obviously if they love a certain sport and only want to do that one, there’s no sense in forcing them into other things. You just want to let them know that it’s okay to keep their options open. You don’t want playing a sport to become nothing more than an endless obligation.
Build a Wider Skill Set
Trying other sports can actually help your child to improve their skill set overall. By playing a variety of sports they’ll develop a wider range of motor skills while building strength and endurance. Doing something new can help them to use muscles and techniques that they wouldn’t otherwise use. This is especially true of sports that utilize one limb or muscle group over the others.
At St. Barnabas Episcopal School, we offer our students a wide variety of athletic and after school activities to choose from. We understand the importance of providing your student with the opportunity to pursue a plethora of activities beyond academia. Contact us to learn more and schedule a tour.